Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that the national militia would be provided with more than 500,000 firearms for the drills near the border with Colombia.

Last week, Maduro announced that the large-scale military exercises would be held near the Colombian border from September 10-28. According to Maduro, Venezuela was deploying air defense systems at its border with Colombia for the period of holding the drills. The president stressed that the country was boosting its forces in the area amid the threat of Bogota’s possible aggression against Caracas.

“Now we are arming the national militia. In order to distribute more than 500,000 firearms, the Venezuelan army will use its legal and institutional mechanisms,” Maduro said in a speech in the central state of Guarico on Wednesday.

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